Archive for the ‘Scams’ Category

• Work At Home Job Could Mean Jail

Work at home jobs, with easy work and good salaries, often…usually…are scams that could land you in jail.

Legitimate sounding openings for someone who can do light bookkeeping or bill paying are for jobs that mean you’ll be laundering money for people that have stolen it by phishing or hacking. And you can go to jail, even if you’re not aware that what you’re doing is illegal. Remember the phrase, “Ignorance of the law is no excuse?”

“Money mules,” as they’re known, are used to move money from a victim’s bank account into your “employer’s” account, usually in a foreign country.  Last year , dozens of people in the US and England were arrested for doing just that.

But people are still falling for the scam because it promises easy work anyone can do and very good pay.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: if it’s too good to be true it’s probably a scam.

• eMail and Web Threats Escalate-And You’re Helping

The emails you forward to all your friends with pictures of cute pets, attached PDF or PowerPoint documents, and even “clean but funny” jokes are more than just spam. You’re helping to spread malware, embedded software that turns your computer, and the recipient’s, into ‘bots’—robots that do the bidding of a command and control (C&C) computer to send spam. Nearly 90% of email traffic in North America is spam, and nearly 40% comes from a single network of hijacked computers…probably including yours.

Vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader are exploited by criminals to create networks of thousands of computers to send spam messages, usually promoting pharmaceuticals. In fact, five botnets account for 75% of all spam, and 80% if it is for drugs from the likes of Canadian Pharmacy.

In a continuing escalation of tactics and defenses, anti-detection techniques have proliferated to help cybercriminals stay under the radar as long as possible. Sure your firewall and anti-virus software helps. But only 1 in 40 anti-virus programs detected a recent virus. In any event, when a virus is detected, the criminals devise a new exploit to stay in business.

Surprisingly, most of the web attacks and malware distribution takes place using exploits that were reported and fixed by software vendors and computer manufacturers over a year ago. Unfortunately, most people don’t keep their software up to date and don’t install the latest patches.

Over 40% of the malicious code comes from the U.S., while about 15% comes from China, with the rest origionating in Russia, Germany, Korea, France, Spain, Poland, South Africa, and the UK (in that order), according to a recent report by M86 Security.

Do yourself and your friends a favor and stop forwarding all those pictures and jokes and slideshows. And update your system and application software to the latest versions!

• There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute

There are lots of ways to make money at home. Two of the more unusual ways are adult entertainment ‘telephone actresses’ and ‘webcam models’ jobs.

We’re not going to make a value judgement about the moral, ethical, religious, or philosophical issue involved. But we will warn you about the financial issues.

First, there are very few women who make good money at it. You have to have acting talent, for starters. And you have to have the self-discipline and stamina to do it all day long. A common misconception about work at home jobs is that you can make lots of money and do very little work. That’s not true in general, and it’s not true in this case.

Sure, if you Google the terms you’ll find stories about women that “made big bucks in an online career.” Naturally you won’t find stories about all those that didn’t. You’ll also find lots of stories about rock stars too, but you won’t find many about the people that play their hearts out and never make it.

Second, how do you know you’ll get paid after all your hard work? Because sex is a dirty word for some people, sexual activity tends to end up in seedy districts in real life and online. And those areas tend to attract seedy characters. Add the anonymity of the web, and you may find yourself working for unidentifiable and dishonest people that pay you only a fraction of what you deserve, if at all.

Third, just because you have a phone or a webcam doesn’t mean you’re equipped to get down to business. Even if you think you’re sexy, some training is still required. Do you know what it takes to keep customers coming back, for example? One outfit recommends that you watch other girls at work. But, of course, you pay the going rate for that.

Like other online business opportunities, the bottom line is

“buyer beware.”

UPDATE: Britain has banned employers looking for sexy web-cam performers from placing ads on government funded job centers.”We shouldn’t put vulnerable people in an environment where they’re exposed to these types of jobs and could feel under pressure to work in the sex industry,” Minister for Employment Chris Grayling said in a statement. The government plans legislation to protect vulnerable jobseekers from feeling they have to consider jobs that they are not comfortable with, according to the statement.

Jobs “that involve the direct sexual stimulation of others” will not be allowed at the government job centers because public money should not support work according to Grayling. However, they will continue to advertise other types of vacancies in the adult entertainment sector, such as cleaning jobs in striptease clubs.